• GunsReducing Illinois gun violence

    Illinois could reduce the number of people killed each year by gun violence by implementing ten policies supported by available research, according to a new report. The Johns Hopkins report identifies weaknesses or gaps in current Illinois law and offers recommendations to reduce gun violence.

  • GunsAfter Aurora shooting, lawmakers revive proposal to disarm unlawful gun owners

    By Brian Freskos

    Illinois revokes thousands of gun licenses every year. But it’s rare for law enforcement to remove firearms from owners barred from having them. Legislators in Illinois are scrambling to address a gap in state law that many have blamed for allowing the gunman who killed five people in Aurora last week to keep his handgun even after he was banned from possessing firearms.

  • Homegrown terrorismU.S. Coast Guard officer to be charged with mass terrorism plot

    Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard officer will appear in court today (Thursday), charged with plotting a massive, 2-prong attack modeled after the 2011 Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist attack in Norway. Breivik killed eight people in Oslo as a diversion, before killing 69 teenagers in a summer camp organized by the Norwegian Social Democratic Party. Hasson compiled a hit list of liberal politicians, Supreme Court judges, and journalists – but his violent plans extended to trying to “establish a white homeland,” and using biological weapons to “kill almost every last person on Earth.”

  • ExtremismU.S. hate groups hit record number last year amid increased violence

    American hate groups had a bumper year in 2018 as a surge in black and white nationalist groups lifted their number to a new record high, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report issued Wednesday. The increase was driven by growth in both black and white nationalist groups, the SPLC said. The number of white nationalist groups jumped from 100 to 148, while the number of black nationalist groups — typically anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white — rose from 233 to 264. Some conservative groups have accused the SPLC of unfairly labeling them as “hate groups,” and last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sued the SPLC for “falsely designating” it as a hate group in 2016, saying the SPLC has produced no evidence that the group maligns immigrants as a class.

  • Identity maskingDisguises are surprisingly effective

    Superficial but deliberate changes in someone’s facial appearance – such as a new hairstyle or complexion - are surprisingly effective in identity deception, new research suggests.

  • School shootingsSchool shooters usually show these signs of distress long before they open fire, our database shows

    By Jillian Peterson and James Densley

    Our initial analysis of the school shooting data found some noteworthy patterns. All mass school shooters since 1966 had a large number of risk factors for violence. Forty-five percent had witnessed or experienced childhood trauma, 77 percent had mental health concerns, as evidenced in a prior diagnosis, previous counseling or hospitalization, or medication use, and 75 percent had an interest in past shootings, as evidenced in their writing, social media posts or other activities. The majority of mass school shooters – 87 percent – showed signs of a crisis, as exhibited in their behavior, before the shooting. Seventy-eight percent revealed their plans ahead of time, often on social media. As juveniles, they also used guns that they stole from parents, caregivers and other significant adults in their lives. Our analysis found that about 80 percent of mass school shooters were suicidal. These findings make it clearer why current strategies are inadequate.

  • Gun violenceMental illness not to blame for gun violence: Study

    Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms. Researchers found that the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. The researchers found instead was that individuals who had gun access were approximately 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun. Individuals with high hostility were about 3.5 times more likely to threaten someone.

  • ExtremismHardcore white supremacists elevate Dylann Roof to cult hero status

    When Dylann Roof murdered nine people in a racially motivated shooting spree at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, reactions from fellow white supremacists were all over the map. While some praised the shootings, others claimed the attack was fabricated by the government or Jews to cast a bad light on white supremacists. Within the past two years, a number of zealous Roof fans and would-be copycats have emerged, including some who have crossed the line into criminal activity:

  • ExtremismSurvey shows that Britain had record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018

    The year 2018 saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, a fact that comes down to “anti-Semitic” politics, not news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a new survey by the Community Security Trust (CST). The number of recorded anti-Semitic events rose 16 percent in the last year to 1,652 incidents around the country.

  • Mexico violenceIncreasing murder rate is erasing gains in life expectancy among Mexican men

    The murder rate in Mexico increased so dramatically between 2005 and 2015 that it partially offset expected gains in life expectancy among men there, according to a new study. “It’s common to see news reports about the toll that drug- and gang-related murders are taking in Mexico,” says UCLA’s professor Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez. “This study confirms that homicide is so widespread that even when considering all causes of death, it stands out as a factor in slowing growth in men’s life expectancy.”

  • Mass shootingFBI: No discernible motive in Las Vegas mass shooting

    The shooter who perpetrated the 2017 Las Vegas massacre – the deadliest in U.S. history — was no different from many other mass shooters, in that he was apparently driven by a complex mix of developmental issues, rather than by one, overriding morive. The FBI’s report, published after a year-long FBI investigation, suggests that Stephen Paddock may have tried to emulate his father’s criminal conduct. His father was a bank robber who was once on the FBI’s most wanted list.

  • Mexico violence2018 sets recod for violent death inMexico

    In 2018, Mexican police investoigators opened 33,341 murder investigations related to to drug and gang violence, setting a new record, according to the latest data published by the Mexican authorities. The overwhelming majority of those killed were menm but 861 women also lost their lives. The 2018 figures are the largest since national records began in 1997.

  • ExtremismGerman police raid suspected KKK members' homes

    German police on Wednesday conducted raids on several properties throughout Germany connected to an extremist group which associates itself with the American Ku Klux Klan. Germany’s domestic intellig agency said around forty people are either under surveillance or investigation for connections with the extreme-right group.

  • MS-13Get MS-13 out of our schools

    This past week saw a horrific MS-13 gang knife attack against a 16-year-old Huntington High School student at the Burger King on New York Avenue in Huntington.  The student was eating after class with several classmates when they noticed three gang members glaring at them.  When they tried to leave, the gang attacked, stabbing the 16 year old in the back. The police and the high school need to protect our children. We need a “zero tolerance” policy and to expel and - if illegal deport - anyone involved with MS-13.  The high school and the police have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Radicalization in prisonReducing prison radicalization by placing terrorists in general prison populations

    New research shows people imprisoned on terrorism offenses stand a better chance of being rehabilitated when placed in general prison populations, than when kept in isolation or in a separate location with other terrorists. The study challenges the traditional view that violent extremist offenders will spread their radical ideology amongst other prisoners.